European data roaming consultation looms

European data roaming consultation looms

Summary: The European Commission will soon launch a public consultation into the cost of data roaming, digital agenda commissioner Neelie Kroes announced on Friday.The consultation will "feed into the review of the effectiveness of the current [roaming] regulation due before the end of June 2011," the Commission said in a statement.

SHARE:
TOPICS: Telcos
3

The European Commission will soon launch a public consultation into the cost of data roaming, digital agenda commissioner Neelie Kroes announced on Friday.

The consultation will "feed into the review of the effectiveness of the current [roaming] regulation due before the end of June 2011," the Commission said in a statement. The roaming rules that are in place have led to significant drops in the cost of making and receiving phone calls and text messages while abroad in Europe, and have started to make a dent in the cost of using roaming data.

The Commission said in its statement that, although consumers had already seen some benefits from the roaming regulations, there was "still no true competition for roaming services". This may be a reference to the idea that any given mobile operator runs a monopoly, in that their customers cannot simply use another available network of their choice.

"In addition, regulated reductions in the wholesale cost of data roaming have not yet been passed on to consumers," the Commission pointed out.

Topic: Telcos

David Meyer

About David Meyer

David Meyer is a freelance technology journalist. He fell into journalism when he realised his musical career wouldn't pay the bills. David's main focus is on communications, as well as internet technologies, regulation and mobile devices.

Kick off your day with ZDNet's daily email newsletter. It's the freshest tech news and opinion, served hot. Get it.

Talkback

3 comments
Log in or register to join the discussion
  • Have just returned from Morocco, where during a 2 week long stay I used 1 Gigabyte of Data, uploading photos/videos/emails etc. Had I roamed on my t-mobile network this would have cost £7.50 a Megabyte, resulting in a potential bill of £7500 on my return. Instead I purchased a Meditel Dongle with a month's free 3G Data for 300 Dirahams / £22 including the dongle. I fitted the sim card into a E585 unlocked three mifi Device, which enabled faster mobile broadband (HSDPA/3G) than anything I'd ever managed to get in the UK on either t-mobile or three, other than at Airports. The device worked perfectly in the Medina, even in the walled ground floor area of the Riad. Morocco appears to have better broadband coverage than we do.

    How can these firms justify these roaming prices, when the mobile signal just connects to a local fibre backhaul connected to the internet. There should be little or no differential between local daily rates and international roaming, certainly not the thousands currently charged.
    adamjarvis
  • There are applications which allows you to prevent possible bill shock of data charges. For example Roaming Guard for Symbian smartphones, No Data for Windows Mobile... A bird in the hand is worth two in the bush...
    CMIT_RomanP
  • I went to Berlin for 4 days at the end of October and used my Orange iPhone to check my email, used 38 megabytes and it cost £92 + VAT. In their defence I got plenty of text messages from them warning that it would cost a lot. Those German megabytes must be really special.
    revsorg